By pure chance, young economics student Phil Shapiro discovered the Alternatives Library inside Cornell’s Anabel Taylor Hall and chose it to become the venue for his live show for WVBR radio. For more than five decades, Phil continued doing shows there, thirty Sundays of every year. There must be a reason why his audience, which he claims to be one of the best, most engaged live audiences in the world, has remained loyal to Bound for Glory all these years. We spoke to Phil in the summer of 2019 about his path to becoming host of North America’s longest running live folk radio show, and learned about the magic formula for building community: music, tradition, and a shared space to gather and come together.
Special thanks to Hoot & Holler and Kora Feder who kindly gave permission to use excerpts from their live performances for our podcast.
Bound for Glory has been on hiatus since 2020, but you can still tune in to 93.5 FM on Sunday nights from 8-11pm to hear archival shows. For more info on the show and upcoming broadcasts, visit their website at boundforglory.org.
New to our show? There is lots to discover. For starters, the portrait of Christine Barksdale, who opened up a sex shop for women after watching the same episode of Oprah twice. Or our interview with Svante Myrick, who at age 24 became Ithaca’s youngest mayor. To stay up-to-date on new episodes, we recommend subscribing to our newsletter. Of course, you can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Marietta Synodis and Florenz Gilly